UK foreign policy (general): Declassified

These declassified files on general aspects of UK foreign policy highlight the UK’s actual interests as perceived by planners, reasons for special relations with the US and attitudes towards ‘development’ and the United Nations,among other policies. Documents Foreign Office, ‘British foreign policy: Opportunities and dangers’, 1975 Foreign Office, ‘The New International Economic Order’, 1975 Foreign […]

H.W.King, FCO, to FCO Planning Staff, 1969

H.W.King, UN Department, FCO, to Mr Powell, FCO Planning Staff, 16 October 1969 “The overwhelming consensus of advice of posts in countries where we have significant UK interests…is that our attitude at the UN, at least on economic and social issues…has little relevance to our bilateral relations or to our influence with governments…In default of […]

Tony Parsons, UK ambassador to UN, to FCO, 1969

Tony Parsons, UK ambassador to UN, to Percy Cradock, FCO Planning Staff, 4 November 1969 “We should accept that we have now become separated in terms of real power from two of the four permanent members of the security council (the United States and the Soviet Union) and that we should adapt ourselves to the […]

Cabinet Defence and Oversea [sic] Policy Committee, ‘Issue of foreign policy’, 1970

Cabinet Defence and Oversea [sic] Policy Committee, ‘Issue of foreign policy: A memorandum by officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’, 29 June 1970 “It will be important to ensure that, as Western Europe develops, it retains a close partnership with the United States. We shall wish to keep our special links with the United […]

Foreign Office, ‘Potential problems in British foreign policy’, 1974

J.Cable, Foreign Office, to All heads of geographical departments, 15 January 1974 Encloses a paper entitled “Potential problems in British foreign policy”, January 1974. In a section on “types of problem”, five are listed. One is “threats to economic activity, eg, through restrictions on raw material supplies or shipping, the power of multinational corporations or […]

China/Hong Kong: Declassified

Articles ‘Revealed: the British Army’s Secret Plan to Shoot Protesters in Hong Kong’ (Phil Miller, Vice News, 15 December 2015) ‘UK officials discussed resettling 5.5m Hong Kong Chinese in Northern Ireland’ (Guardian, 3 July 2015) ‘British plan to move 5.5m Hong Kongers to Northern Ireland revealed in declassified “spoof”’ (Hong Kong Free Press, 3 July […]

Bangladesh: Declassified

Documents ‘US embassy cables: UK police trained Bangladeshi paramilitaries condemned for human rights abuses’ (US Embassy Bangladesh, 14 May 2009) Articles ‘Bangladesh interrogation centre where Britons were taken to be tortured’ (Guardian, 7 January 2011) ‘UK faces legal challenge from family of Bangladeshi allegedly tortured by “death squad”’ (Guardian, 31 December 2010) ‘WikiLeaks cables: Bangladeshi […]

Libya: Declassified

Documents ‘US embassy cables: UK feared hero’s funeral for Megrahi’ (US Embassy, UK, 25 February 2010) ‘US embassy cables: Britain feared Libya would “cut us off at the knees” if Megrahi was not released’ (US Embassy, Libya, 16 August 2009) ‘US embassy cables: US suspicion surrounds Tony Blair’s visit to Libya’ (US Embassy, Libya, 23 […]

Tanks to India and Pakistan, 1967

George Thomson, Commonwealth Secretary, to Prime Minister Harold Wilson, 19 October 1967 Since March 1966 UK policy is to supply arms to both India and Pakistan. The Pakistani government wants the UK to approve a proposal to establish a factory in either Pakistan or Iran to manufacture Vickers tanks for the armies of Pakistan, Iran […]

Pakistan: Declassified

Documents ‘The Road to Partition 1939-1947’ (National Archives) Tanks to India and Pakistan, 1967 (click here) U.S. and British Combined to Delay Pakistani Nuclear Weapons Program in 1978-1981’ (19 documents, National Security Archive) ‘US embassy cables: UK – we’re not importing moderate imams’ (US Embassy, UK, 24 April 2008) ‘US embassy cables: After Mumbai, UK […]